|Hawaii 11 year old SSH ridden in western saddle
and snaffle wonder bit in ring, pasture, trails by experienced rider
Question: Kokoamo Girl is a wonderful, smooth-gaited Spotted Saddle
Horse. She is a joy to ride. My problem occurs when I want
her to do a slow canter in the ring. She likes speed but will slow
down to a normal canter when asked. However, I want her to do the
slow rocking chair canter that she is capable of. She is capable
of it since she has done it a small number of times and it was great.
At those times she seemed to transition into the flowing canter (actually
more like a saddlebred canter) from her running walk. How can I
From Panelist Liz Graves
You may want to try a different bit. It may be that the Wonder bit is not giving her enough support in the mouth to maintain the nice lifting canter. I might try a mullen mouth piece of a Billy Allen mouth piece. Along with this also comes keeping the hindquarters engaged so they are under her to help her lift her front end off the ground and not get to strung out behind which will keep her more level in the canter instead of the walking horse rocking. Don't do any bumping or pumping of the reins, just keep a nice sound set hands so she can work off the bit and you may want to try keeping the outside rein just a bit tighter than the inside rein. If she starts to speed up or fall out of the canter in the corners, which I see happen a lot.
Put light pressure with your inside leg a bit more to the shoulder,
so the shoulder does not drop in the corners, this keeps you horses body
vertical to the ground and not leaning to the inside of the ring. Also
at the same time lift up (not pull back) the inside rein about an
To clarify inside and outside , by this I mean inside being to the center of the ring and outside being to the rail.
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